It is already being touted as “Part IV.” The College Football National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers is the fourth consecutive post season meeting between what have become the top two dominant programs in the sport. The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions and have won a total of five nattys since Nick Saban took over as coach in 2007. The Tigers have enjoyed a renaissance under head coach Dabo Swinney and are just two years removed from their own national title. Both teams dominated their playoff opponents last week to clearly establish themselves as the best two teams in the land.
Watch the College Football National Championship matchup live on Monday, January 7, 2019, at 8 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California. The game can be seen on ESPN.
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Clemson Tigers +6
Alabama Crimson Tide -6
Live Betting Odds Analysis
Clearly the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban are the top program and coach of the modern era and arguably the best of all time. There is plenty of public respect for Clemson but Alabama is feared. Further, the Tide dominated the Tigers last year which is hard for many gamblers to forget.
Clemson Crushes All
Clemson is 14-0 straight up, 8-6 against the spread, and 6-8 under the total. The Atlantic Coast Conference champions destroyed Notre Dame 30-3 for an easy playoff cover last week.
Tide Going Crimson on Board
Alabama is 14-0 straight up, 8-6 against the spread, and 8-5-1 over the total. The Southeastern Conference champions beat Oklahoma last week 45-34 as 14.5-point playoff overlays. While the Tide is rolling on the field, they are dropping in value with just one payout in their last four games.
Alabama has national rankings on offense of fifth overall, seventh for passing, 35th for rushing and second for scoring. Defensively the Tide ranks 12th overall, 23rd against the pass, 20th vs. the rush, and seventh for points allowed.
Clemson has national rankings offensively of fourth overall, 24th for passing 10th for rushing, and fourth for scoring. On defense the Tigers rank fifth overall, 16th vs. the pass, third against the rush, and second for points allowed.
On balance these powerhouses rate as equals in all meaningful categories.
This game features two of the elite quarterbacks in all the country.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa was the Heisman Trophy runner up and posted a 202.3 rating with 37 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He averaged 11.4 yards per pass. The sophomore is best remembered as the hero of last year’s national championship game.
Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence took over the job in late September and never looked back. He was the top recruit in the country last spring. Lawrence posted a 154.0 rating with 24 touchdown passes and just four picks. He averaged eight yards per pass. His cool confidence as a freshman starter is astounding as was his rapid development.
Clemson running back Travis Etienne ran for 1463 yards, 8.3 yards per rush, and 21 touchdowns. Etienne will force the Alabama defense to play honest serving to help Lawrence pass with less pressure.
Tua loves to throw to Jerry Jeudy, who hauled in 59 catches good for 1103 yards and 12 touchdowns to lead Bama.
Considering this much more competitive era Nick Saban must go down as the greatest coach in college football history. Unlike previous eras more programs spend more money and try far harder to win at football. Today’s competition is significantly tougher yet Saban has built a near unbeatable dynasty.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney played for the Tide and is has the personal touch as a great recruiter and motivator. Swinney has led Clemson to their winningest era since Danny Ford was coach in the 1980’s. While his hiring as interim coach was scoffed at nobody is laughing now. In fact, many consider Swinney the only man worthy of replacing Saban when he does retire.
Head to Head Series
The Crimson Tide and Tigers have met the last three seasons in the playoff with Alabama winning two of the three games straight up but Clemson getting the money in two of the three matchups. Clemson won the 2016 national championship with a 35-31 win in the final moments over Alabama as 6.5-point dogs. Alabama extracted revenge last year with a 24-6 win as 3.5-point chalks. Last year’s game was the first of the three that went under the total.
Free Live Betting ATS Pick
Clemson is the ultimate power dog with seven payouts in their last eight games as a pup. If not Alabama’s equal the Tigers are close enough and can certainly cover this number. In fact, Clemson could be the better rushing and defensive team. They also posted 46 sacks on the season and will pressure Tua unlike any other team he has faced.
College Football Live Betting Odds Pick: Clemson Tigers
College Football Live Betting Score Prediction: Clemson 31, Alabama 30
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